Restaurants layoffs piling up since dining shutdown

Employees at Le Bernardin, others lose jobs as Cuomo tries to curb Covid spike

Restaurants Layoff Staff to Stay Afloat (Getty)
Restaurants Layoff Staff to Stay Afloat (Getty)

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down indoor dining again, restaurants started handing out pink slips. Again.

At least five restaurants have filed WARN notices with the Department of Labor in recent days, citing the governor’s restrictions as the reason they are laying off staff.

Three of those — Electric Lemon, Upland NYC and El Vez NY — are owned by STARR Restaurants. In total, they are laying off 117 employees.

Le Bernardin and Aldo Sohm Wine Bar are also laying off 76 employees between the two.

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“Our once-vibrant restaurant industry is suffering,” said Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of NYSRA. (iStock, Getty, NYSRA)
New York
54% of NY restaurants expect to close in six months
Governor Andrew Cuomo (Getty)
New York
Indoor dining will shut down again in NYC
The biggest losses were in Manhattan, which accounted for 520 out of 1,057 closures (Getty)
New York
1 of every 7 chain stores in NYC closed this year

STARR Restaurants and Le Bernardin both declined to comment.

And though restaurants are still allowed to operate with outdoor dining, takeout and delivery, some decided after the governor’s Dec. 11 announcement that it’s not worthwhile to stay open.

Overall, 78 percent of New York restaurants expect layoffs in the next three months, as opposed to 49 percent nationally, according to a recent report by the New York State Restaurant Association.

Though the layoffs this month seem to be temporary, many other restaurants permanently shuttered following various shutdowns. The same report estimates that 4,500 in New York City have already closed forever.